We believe that it is important to make the doctrinal beliefs of First Christian Church known so that people know where we stand, and the foundation on which our faith is built. These beliefs are not unique to us, they all come from the pages of the Bible, and we encourage you to study the scriptures provided along with these doctrinal statements. These doctrinal ideas are what we believe, and what you'll hear from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. They are not meant to divide, only to make our positions clear. They were adopted as the official Statement of Beliefs for First Christian Church on August 16, 2016.
You can download a PDF version of this document here: Statement of Beliefs
Statement of Beliefs
Beliefs about God
God the Father is the creator and sustainer of all things visible and invisible. God is sovereign, infinite, and eternal, and can only be known through Jesus. (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3, John 1:18, John 14:6, Acts 17:24-28, Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11)
Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is the incarnation of God (Luke 1:34-35, John 1:1-14). He is both fully human and fully divine (Philippians 2:5-8). He was tempted just as we are tempted, and yet He lived a perfect and sinless life (Hebrews 4:15). He suffered and was crucified as an atonement for the sin of all humanity (Mark 10:45, Romans 5:6-8). He died on the cross and was laid in a tomb, and three days later he rose from the dead, conquering both sin and death (John 19-20). He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, where He acts as the intercessor or mediator between us and God (Acts 1:9, Ephesians 1:19-20, Hebrews 4:14-16). One day Jesus will return and take those who believe in him to live with him for eternity (Acts 1:10-11, Revelation 22:12).
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He dwells within every Christian who professes belief in Jesus and is baptized (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 3:16). He teaches, empowers, sanctifies, and guides the followers of Jesus (John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7-15, 1 Corinthians 6:11, Titus 3:4-7), and He gives them strength and spiritual gifts to be used in ministry (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts the world of sin (John 16:8-11).
Beliefs about the Bible
The Bible was written down by men, but inspired by the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who wrote it (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21), therefore the original Scriptures as they were written were without error and authoritative (Proverbs 30:5, John 17:17). The Bible is God’s revelation about Himself to mankind and the primary means by which God speaks into the lives of his followers. The Bible is living and active, and every part of it is useful for teaching, correcting, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is the absolute truth of God, and is the standard by which all truth should be measured. The Bible alone is the final authority on all matters of faith, truth, and life.
Beliefs about Mankind
We are the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in the likeness and image of God as eternal beings (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 5:1-2, Psalm 139:13-14). Each human being is uniquely created by God, who knew us before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5). We have been given dominion over creation to be its stewards and caretakers (Genesis 1:28-30). We are all fallen creatures because of our sin, which separates us from God (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23). Our sin condemns us to an eternity of punishment and separation from God. We are in need of redemption and salvation to be brought back into right standing with God (Mark 16:16, John 3:18, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23).
Beliefs about Salvation
All human beings are sinful, and without the grace of Jesus, all people would endure eternal punishment and separation from God (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). There is no way for us to achieve salvation on our own, or to earn the salvation Jesus offers us. The grace of Jesus is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). The only way that we can be saved from that punishment and be put in right standing with God is to put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and follow after him (John 3:18, Romans 10:9). Jesus lived a perfect life, yet he bore all the sin of mankind on the cross, past, present, and future (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 9:12). His sacrifice on the cross paid the price for our sin (Matthew 26:28, Romans 5:6-9, Hebrews 10:12-14). When we put our faith and our trust in Jesus, we are justified before God, and seen as righteous in His sight because of the righteousness of Jesus (Romans 5:1-2). A person receives salvation when they believe in Jesus as the Son of God, repent of their sin, confess their faith in Jesus, and are baptized (Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9).
Beliefs about Baptism
The Bible teaches that we are saved by the grace of Jesus through faith in him (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is the grace of Jesus that saves us, not the act of baptism itself. But baptism cannot be separated from the process of salvation taught in the Bible. Baptism is something that Jesus commanded us to do, and something Jesus himself did, but it is far more than just an obedience issue (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 3:13-17). Baptism connects us with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-8). When we rise out of the waters of baptism, we are raised to a new life in Jesus as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 2:12, Colossians 3:10). Baptism also gives us assurance of the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit and is a vital piece of a person putting their faith in Jesus (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21).
Beliefs about the Church
The Church is the global community of the followers of Jesus, the body of Christ, of which Jesus is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 5:23). The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus from all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching people to follow the commands of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). The Bible instructs believers in Jesus to take part in a local church to worship God together, to get to know God more intimately, to encourage and build each other up, to love each other, to bear each other’s burdens, to serve each other, to pray for each other, and to be unified with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 14:19, Matthew 20:26-28, Galatians 6:2, John 13:34-35, Colossians 3:14-16, 1 John 4:7, 6, 7, John 17:22-23). All Christians are called to pursue personal holiness, to obey the instructions of the Bible, to support the church financially, and to submit to the authority of the elders of the church (1 Peter 1:15, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, Titus 2:11-14, Colossians 3:14-16, Malachi 3:10, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Hebrews 13:17). Followers of Jesus should also use the spiritual gifts and natural abilities given by God as a member of the body of Christ to encourage and build up their fellow Christians, and to participate in the mission of the church (1 Corinthians 12:7-14, 1 Peter 4:10). All Christians are part of a royal priesthood to God, so all are free to take part in ministry, teach, lead, administer Communion, and baptize new believers (1 Peter 2:9).
Beliefs about Communion
Communion is the Lord’s Supper, instituted the night before Jesus was crucified when Jesus shared his last Passover meal with his disciples (Matthew 26:17-29). Believers in Jesus participate in Communion each time we gather together to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. Communion is a symbol of the death of Jesus. The breaking of bread represents the breaking of Jesus’ body, and the cup represents the spilling of Jesus’ blood (Matthew 26:26-28). Jesus commanded his followers to participate in Communion to remember what he did for us on the cross, which at the core of Christianity. When believers in Jesus participate in Communion, it is an act of unity, a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice, a proclamation of the death of Jesus, and a time of reflection and prayer (1 Corinthians 10-16-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-29). We celebrate communion every week when we gather together for worship.